The 10 Most Important Executive Moves This Week

George PaulPeople on the Move
Laysha Ward

Laysha Ward. Image credit: PRNewsfoto/United Airlines.

This week, GM found a new sustainability chief, Marriott filled its vacant CEO post, Moderna's medical chief announced his departure, and Amazon lost another exec named Jeff.

These are our top picks for the most important executive appointments and departures this week. For executive news updated daily, check out The Org's People on The Move.

1. Moderna Medical Chief To Leave Amid COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

Moderna Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks is stepping down after six years with the company in late September. The company quietly announced his departure in its Q4 financials report released on Feb. 25. The biotech firm has swiftly switched gears to a commercial operation in the past few months as it ramps up its COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

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2. Marriott Promotes From Within To Fill Gap Left By CEO’s Passing

Marriott International’s Board of Directors has decided to promote Tony Capuano to serve as the hotel company’s new CEO and a member of the board, effective immediately.

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3. GM Names New Sustainability Chief Amid EV Push

General Motors (GM) announced that its first-ever sustainability chief, Dane Parker, has decided to retire effective May 1, 2021, and will be replaced by Kristen Siemen. As the VP of Sustainable Workplaces and Chief Sustainability Officer, Siemen will be responsible for the automaker’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2040. She will also oversee major construction projects and efforts to modernize GM’s offices to facilitate collaborative work.

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4. GameStop's CFO Resigns After Its Meme-Fueled Trading Frenzy

GameStop, the video game retailer at the center of a recent stock market trading frenzy, has announced that its Chief Financial Officer, Jim Bell, will step down on March 26, 2021.

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5. Another Jeff Leaves Amazon

Jeff Blackburn, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Amazon, announced in a company memo on Wednesday he would be departing the company after 22 years. Blackburn, who just returned from a year-long sabbatical, was instrumental in shaping some of Amazon’s most popular products such as Prime Video and Amazon Studios and has previously been rumored as a potential successor to CEO Jeff Bezos.

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6. Stripe Adds Ex-Bank of England Official to Guide Growth and Climate Efforts

Stripe has named Mark Carney, the former Governor of the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada, to its Board of Directors. Carney’s extensive experience with global financial systems and governance will be invaluable to the payments platform as it continues to navigate a complex web of international regulations and rolls out its climate efforts globally.

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7. Zhu Wenjia Will Lead Global Research and Development for TikTok

ByteDance is moving the CEO of their Chinese news platform, Zhu Wenjia, to Singapore where he will lead global research and development for TikTok, sources told Reuters. In this newly created position, Zhu will be overseeing and leading Tik Tok’s product and technologies including its recommendation algorithm.

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8. United Airlines Adds External Engagement Expert to Its Board

United Airlines has added Laysha Ward to its Board of Directors as the company recovers from the impact of COVID-19. United will benefit from Ward’s more than three decades of corporate leadership experience and expertise in community and stakeholder engagement, corporate responsibility, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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9. Zillow Aims to Streamline Company Structure With Two New Promotions

Zillow President Jeremy Wacksman will become the company’s new COO, and Susan Daimler will take over its President. The company announced that the executive promotions are part of an organizational realignment, as the online real estate company hopes to centralize its product, partner, engineering, and operations teams.

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10. Vogue Appoints New Global Creative Director

Condé Nast announced on Monday that Juan Costa Paz will be Vogue’s new Global Creative Director, effective immediately. Costa Paz will report directly to the legacy fashion magazine’s Global Editorial Director and Condé Nast Chief Content Officer Anna Wintour. In his new role, Costa Paz will oversee the creative direction for the brand in both the U.S. and the U.K. and help guide Vogue’s approach to content for all brand platforms and formats worldwide.

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